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2/13 fishing report near Flamingo Isles

Short and sweet report, having switch mainly from freshwater to Salt I have been doing a lot of bay fishing.
I have not been posting a lot of my reports, nor taken my camera… so this year I plan to change that (starting again to log and capture my adventures).
 
Galveston (Near Tiki Island)
I shoved off right after sun up with outgoing tide (made the paddle a bit easier).. but decided to follow the rule and target deeper water in the cold.
I was a bit pissed at the weather man because wind seemed to be coming from NE (not south) and no sun (as I expected). I trolled and made obvious pit stops along my way to the intercoastal and saw nothing (not even bait fish). Zero activity…

Got to the intercoastal (right near north deer island) and got out on a shell island fished it for hour and determined after some wading that I needed sand or mud (the hard clay bottom with ton’s of green grassy crap wasn’t workin!). I was hopen the ships that came through would cause enough water displacement it would work for me but.. apparently not.

Changed strategies and headed back-in to the shallows and weaved my way back to the flats. At this point I realized I had never seen it so shallow and I was in the middle of a tidal transition as I noticed the tide was not incoming ever so slightly. I had to portage accross the flat in some places and water was all of about a couple of inches… not good (worse it was solid enough to walk on – i.e. not soft mud or sandy – more hard bottom). Looked like the water was flushed from the toilet and I headed back to the gut’s and dreadged channels as fast as I could for more opportunity. Closer to where I launched I spent 30 minutes fishing some deeper water and finally saw the sun peak out about 1:30PM, but to no avail. I got nothing.

What was good though was the paddle time and solice!! I wouldn’t trade that for anything (except maybe a few good fish!).
8.5 miles paddle (1340 calores burned) roughly..

http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=3474614

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3/21/09 Houston Ship Channel – The Big Ugly’s

The night before
Okay, got my "kitchen pass" to go fishing… so I stopped by Steve Mullen’s house (Crazy Yak) as he’s walking distance from my house.  He informs me he will be thier around 8ish with a demo yak and asked if I bought Crab… of course that’s a big NO.  Knowing I had no time to go to fiesta or anywhere to get this as well as get the gear together I figured I would just pick some up from a bait shop when I hit Galveston.
 
The Drive to Galveston & finding bait
Funny thing about half way thier I ran into Steve, his wife and daughter in route!  He pulled off to stop somewhere and I headed on to galveston to find all bait shops were out of crab (something to do with blue crab mating season and in limited quantity).  Being the major rookie that I am I figured I would get some mullet since I couldn’t find crab… so I stopped at an ATM and guess who is filling up thier vehicle (small world).  I proceeded to tell Steve I GPS’ed his car and I know where he is 24/7.   He advised me no mullet won’t work on BU’s (big uglies – AKA black drum).   Crab, crawfish or dead shrimp should be my targets and so I ran down 61st street on a hunt to the bait shops to again find niether crab or crawfish and I really didn’t want to dead with the shrimp.
Steve called me on my cell and told me to head down to "galveston yacht club" and tell security I was going to the bait shop.    Guess what no crab.. but the had crawfish!  so for about $8 I scored 2 lbs live crawfish.
 
Hitting the water
Finally got to Afel Park and after dismounting and rigging the yak I got on the water at 10am (where did the morning go).   Paddeled out with my Texas Kayaking Forum (TKF) buddies about 20 of us and our treasurer (Maulwaker) hooked me up with some crab.  I had zero hits on the crab, but could tell the gafftops were munching on the crab pretty hard.   So if you didn’t get a hook-up with a drum really quick .. you basically had no bait left.
 
Current and improper anchors!
Okay so I brought my small "bruce claw" which was properly zip tied at the handle…   It never "grabbed" and I kept thinking, if added some chain for weight it would likely do much better… but in 5 minutes I would drift 100 yards.  I pulled the anchor up and tried again, but things got worse.. now I was drifting about 200-300 yards in 5 minutes.  What I discovered was the current broke my zip tie and my anchor was naturally unclawing its self from the ocean floor and just dragging along as I drifted.   So off to head in for another zip tie.. this is when Steve yelled… go tell my wife to let you borrow my dan forth anchor (don’t use that 5lbs claw out here.. it won’t hold).
So in I went to shore and about 10 feet from shore a small wave twisted my yak around to a position I could not compensate for… followed by another quick wave and I tutled.. into the drink!  I then stood up and realized I was in knee deep water which explains why the waves were so strong (waves are more verticle in the shallow and stonger).  Other than a little embarresment and the loss of my boot knife … it was no big deal.
 
Sleigh ride!
Swapped anchor’s, put my anchor float on and grabbed a sandwich.  I then proceeded back out and dropped anchor, I switched to Crawfish and immediately "hooked up" on a drum!  I disconnected from the anchor and went for a brief sliegh ride!!   I worked the drum in until it got to the boat and "BOOM" off it went stripping off line and I got him back over to the boat and landed her a 25lbs Black Drum.   Paddled back to the anchor and pulled it into the boat… Since this is my first "big fish" and I took her into shore.. She barely fit in the ice chest and the lid wouldn’t really close!  Nice eh!
 
Anchor lessons!
Went out for the next round… the dan forth ring did not position correctly and current drifted me away from the kayakers in less than 2 minutes; current was ripping now!  I paddled back to the group and re-deployed the anchor!  After it grabbed I realized the amount of current pushing the boat and I do not have an Anchor trolly so I placed the anchor to the pad eye next to my knee.  Problem is a good wave can come and side swipe you this way and as that little voice in your head says.. I should probably move this… Steve yells  "move that anchor to the back or front of your yak"… not knowing I didn’t have an anchor trolly aparently.
I VERY CAREFULLY reached behind me and clipped it to a pad ee behind my seat (a little nerve racking as leaning/turning backwards really screws with your centerline of gravety (I was trying really… really hard not to go over… I was just waiting for a big wave to come along from one of those tankers)!
 
The one that got away.
After anchoring up… of course… BOOM immediate hit on the crawfish and I’m back on another sleighride!   This time when I get him to the boat he heads straight at me and as  was attempting to real in the slack he spit the hook!  that kinds sucks after fighting them for 5 minutes.. no reward (no I wouldn’t have kept a 2nd fish).
 
I paddled back to the anchor and hooked back up.. waited around for 10 minutes, no bite.  I paddled back in and pulled off the beach at 3PM.
Was a great day!
 
 
Crab vs. Crawfish.
Apparently everyone was fishing crab, except me.  I heard from another TKF fisherman that the gafftops were in full force and if you didn’t hook up with a bit on the crab immediately, you could feel the gafftops munching down on the crab so in just a few minutes.. you had no bait!
Apparently the Gafftops wanted nothing to do with the crawfish…   Also these little guy’s were mad, they latch on to you and it kinda hurts.. so a word to the wise don’t leave them hanging around your deck or they may pinch you in the nads and then jump though a scupper hole for freedom!  I kept mine in my bucket hatch, but still had one latch down on me good while I was putting him on the hook.
Steve told me he got his crab for $20, I scored 2lbs for around $4.
Now for the real bonus… I only used about half a pound and I ate the rest that evening!!!
Bonus!!
 
 
 
 
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2/21/09 : Fishing @ GSP

Woke up shut off alarm and drifted back to sleep, phone rang and Dustin said.. I’ll be thier in 5 minutes!    I scrambled finished backing my crap and met him about 5-10 minutes late and off we headed to Galveston State part.
Planning for a northerly to blow in later in the day and also the peak fishing time is around 9… we arrived at 7am a good start!
 
Met up with a friend of Dustin’s and the 3 of us paddled through Lake Como into GSP.  Saw a couple of kayakers, but saw no fish activity and all 3 of us split into different directions.   Later I saw Dustin and his friend paddle back from what appeared to be open water and with the wind shifting from the north I wondered why they were way out in BFE.   Apparently a duck blind that holds trout but… they came up empty.
 
I ran the GEO tubes and nothing…
 
Finally I paddled around a bit and did some trolling… nothing.
 
Finally I went back to a channel and fished in for 30 minutes to an hour.. nothing.
 
I headed back into the flats between some of the islands in GSP and switched over to a shallow running crank bait… scored a hand sized redfish and tossed it back.
Dustin said he was going to head back in.. I told him I was going to continue to work the flats to see if I could pick up some schoolies or hopes of a much larger red.
But… you guessed it… nothing.
 
Headed back in as the temp’s dropped and the rain moved in.
 
Can’t wait until all of these weekend northerlies go away (good news is as of 3/18 and spring break it looks like we will have our first warm weekend!).
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galveston 1/5/2009 hwy 6

Left at 1pm with Steve mullins (crazy yak) and Brice (Forever fishing).
Hit hwy 6 launch and saw 3-4 TKF’ers pulling out and only 1 had a trout (the rest had fish stories or clamed they got skunked).
We fished the flats I got nothing on a buzz bait (got a swirl) but was told not a good bait to use.. (I’m a rookie).
 
PDT818 also went with us, I fished near him and loaned him some bug spray.. before he headed in.
We watch the front get closer and started to head back in, it blew through with not much punch.  Temps dropped a little and wind picked up.
 
Steve and I headed back to the marsh and Brice fished the lights.
I landed a small 16inch red (slots 22").   Steve caught a flounder which he gave me!
 
I had no electronics (no camera, depth finder or radio)…   I’ll learn!
 
We headed back in against the wind and I left for home (they went to the causeway).
 
Steve reported: "Brice got cold, we came home. Stopped at the Tiki launch and caught a few Sand Trout and undersized Specs. "
Brice reported: "LOL! The wind was howling and I was so cold that I never launched my kayak. Steve didn’t go far and just fished some lights at the launch site and picked up a spec and some perch. My nuts were frozen like two ice cubes.
We left about 11 or so. You missed NOTHING!"
 
 
 
 
G
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Salt – Lake Como 12/29/08

The storm and front from the previous couple of days shifted into the central gulf, leaving high pressure, lots of sun and clear water.  I arrived shortly after sun up and by the time I rigged and hit the water sun was already up (7 or 7:30am).

 I paddled into the north wind after hitting the main channel out of como and saw the white caps and waves breaking over the geo tubes (my guess is 25 knots).  I fished the point where the canal’s split working the deeper edge and shallow edges with a white 6in mullet paddle tail.  I picked up a small trout out of the canal, but not worth filing or saving.  I pretty much figured I would work the back edges of the marsh flats as it was wind protected and work my way up towards the tubes/barrier.  This proved to be fruitless as the map appears to show the channel run’s further than it really does.  If your boat doesn’t get stuck and you stay in the flats you’re in 1 foot of water (2 max) but with all of the clear water I was either spooking them or they were not there.

I casted everything I could think of from crank bait’s, to rattle traps, to worms, jigs, inline spinners, spinner baits, gulp shrimp and tons of other plastics.  About noon the screaming wind was so annoying I was considering using pool noodle as ear plugs.  Fortunately about 1pm the wind died back and I was able to fish behind the geo-tubes.

I don’t fish this area much so I don’t know how shallow it normally is.  I tried trolling the geo tubes but must have spooked most of the fish with my boat prior to them ever seeing my trolling lure.  I had to get out and portage in 3 spots.  The wind continued to dissipate and I ran the outside of the tubes trolling and caught another small trout (4pm)

My wife called and wanted me off the water, so I headed home (stuck in traffic)… wish I had stuck it out and night fished to redeem myself (the water was starting to look good about 5pm (sun down) as I was leaving.

 

como.jpg

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10 year Anniversary! (California) _ Part #3

Friday 9/19/08 (Old Mission Santa Ines/Solvang)
We woke up and eat some fruit for breakfast (strawberries and grapes from the farmers market) and headed over to the church
 
Old Mission Santa Ines
Pictures cannot describe the beauty of this old mission: http://www.missionsantaines.org/syv.html
We stopped by the office and father Michael came and took us through the garden to the sanctuary and I proceeded to take some pictures and we promptly went through our vowels and talked with the priest.  He was very nice and took photos of Jenn and me both in the church and out in the garden.  We renewed our vowels and had our rings blessed.
 
 
 
 
We proceeded to walk through the garden and the museum area and bought a few souvenirs and left.  We went back to the hotel changed and had lunch at the hotel surprisingly cheap for a salad bar, chef made sandwich (anything you wanted) and soup.
 
Chumash Casino Round #2
We went to the Casino and after inserting our cards we realized we had a zero balance.  I assumed based on the sign on the wall we must have used all of our "free play" money.  It said 25 immediately and 25 on next visit, but we clearly had $50 on our first visit.  Jen and I put in about $60 and ended up winning it all back!   I wanted to stand in the long line and ask the workers if this was correct but decided not too so Jen and I ended up cutting and running!

Solvang
We proceeded to Solvang and walked up and down the streets and shops!  We realized quickly this is a tourist trap but it was very beautiful and we bought a few small things before we sat down to eat a Avilskiever and had Danish meatball and sausage (none of it was very good, the avilskiever was okay.. but if they like that.. they should try some of my "lost bread" it’s better!).

 
Jen and I headed back to the hotel and printed our boarding passes and packed up in preparation for our long trip to LAX in the morning.
 
Chumash Casino Round #3 (no pics)
We realized at the hotel as we began to pack that the casino paperwork we had said $50 for next visit with this coupon! I knew I should have sat in the long line… lesson learned always talk to a casino representative to get a deal!  Jen and I finished our packing and printing our maps to return to the airport/car rental place and rushed back to the casino (a whole couple of miles – 5 minutes or so).
We stood in the long line and got our $50 a piece (another $100 free money!!) and off we went… weekend’s I think this place is somewhat rigged as it was a bit harder to "get ahead" and no special’s like chocolate truffles or all you can eat lobster.  We also saw lots of people being chartered in from Santa Barbra and Friday night brought out a lot of strange people and as I pointed at to Jen, likely call-girls.
We ran out of there with about 60 or 70 dollars and headed out to dinner!
 
Firestone Brewery and Restaurant
Right by our hotel (walking distance) we went to the Firestone Restaurant and they served a small sampling (4 samples) of beer with 3 pales and 1 lager.  The manager brought me special unfiltered double barrel pale ale you can only get at the restaurant and it was good a sharp taste on the end!  I also got a free glass with the sampler which is nice!  The sampler was okay but I am not a beer guy (or wine guy) just sent me a nice bourbon like crown and I’m fine!   But Jen and I ordered crab cake for an appetizer and had flat iron grilled steaks and fries (looked like shoestring potatoes to me but they were good).  Jen noted the food was a bit salty but with my beer I guess I thought it went well (wonder why they always serve salty peanuts at bars… something about salt and beer?   And I always thought it was salt and margaritas… well I digress)….
Anyway the manager brought us an ice cream (with candle) and 2 brownies smothered in chocolate sauce and told us happy anniversary!  It was awesome but I had so much food today I was going to explode.  We went back to the hotel and finalized everything for our early morning wake-up call to get ready to return home.
 
       

Saturday 9/20/08 (LAX and Ambassador Pickup)

We drove from the hotel and took the 101 pacific coast highways to the 405, nice drive back and pretty view!  We filled up the gas tank and returned the car to learn we paid for the gas and I had to go to go to the service desk for re-imbursement (more money saved).
Shuttled to the airport, eat and boarded the plane… movie sucked, the meal served sucked (hamburger of some sort). I dozed slightly before takeoff and could not fall back asleep although I felt a bit tired the whole way back).  During the flight they asked "is there a doctor on board?", it seems a lady took ill and they cleared the flight path and landed us early to Houston!  Jenn felt a little sick as they dropped us fast to land the plane and apparently took the lady to the hospital.
We grabbed our luggage and the driver was their waiting with our name tag for picking us up!
He drove us home and upon arrival I was tipping the driver and grabbing the luggage and Jenn took a spill while getting out of the car where the driveway is uneven with the road.  She skinned up her knee and ankle but she is okay!  Apparently her equilibrium is off; even at the airport she had some trouble getting on the escalators (lost her balance).

 
Finally we were home!  We cleaned up some of the stuff in our house and unpacked, putting all the souvenirs on the dining room table.
 
 
Sunday we picked up the kids and I took Monday off to settle in and recoup…
 
It was a wonderful trip!!!  for high resolution pictures go here: All 10yr anniversary CA Pictures
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